Are You Making These 6 Common Blogging Mistakes?
Writing and blogging go together like Batman and Robin, like tea and cake, like peanut butter and jelly. I mean, blogging IS writing. The two are all wrapped up in each other like those couples you see on benches in the park. Try to take the writing out of blogging, and you either get vlogging or Instagram. Blogging ceases to exist without writing.
As writers, we tend to have a lot going on in our heads.
While this isn’t inherently a bad thing, it does mean that when it comes to blogging, we can sometimes find ourselves a little bit all over the place, and with scattered blogging comes mistakes that can (and should) be avoided.
Blogging Mistake #1: Not Doing It
You’d think we wouldn’t need to discuss this one, but it’s actually a thing.
Writers who don’t blog.
It sounds wrong, like sportsmen who don’t train, or skinny chefs.
Sure, if you’re a writer of novels and your social media consists of updates on your book launches, perhaps blogging isn’t the most necessary thing for you.
But if you’re a writer in the online world, blogging is practically essential and has many benefits.
Your blog is your voice. Your blog is the most accurate online representation of who you are, what you stand for and, perhaps most importantly in the field, how you write.
Clients are not going to wade through the depths of the internet to find examples of your writing. Sure, if you send a few samples some of them will be happy. Some of them will want to see more, and if they can land on your blog and look around, figure out who you are and how you’re likely to write for them, this makes their lives (and yours) infinitely easier.
As blogging mistakes go, this is a big one.
If you’re a blog-less writer, how do you go about fixing this?
Well, start one.
Some of the most common free blogging platforms are:
Need help deciding which one’s for you? This article reviews some of the best and most common blogging platforms.
Blogging Mistake #2: Not Having Your Own Blog
You might be thinking, “Yeah okay, but I guest post all the time, I don’t need my own blog.”
(Insert loud buzzer sound here)
Wrong. Guest posting is great, and also necessary for a writer. It builds relationships, increases exposure, creates networking opportunities and is also incredibly helpful when it comes to showing up in search engines.
Guest post away, writers.
But – clients don’t want to navigate to 48 different links from your portfolio page to get a good idea of your writing. No, they want it all in one convenient little nugget of a site that they can browse to their heart’s content.
Also, having your own blog gives you an opportunity to create a brand. Create something that stands out, and people will immediately notice that you’re different. This has as much to do with the layout of your blog as it does with your writing.
Remember, humans are multi-sensory beings. We respond emotionally to color, layout, and pictures as much as we do to pretty words.
With your own blog, you’re totally in control of the experience your readers have when they land on that page.
Blogging Mistake #3: Not Guest Posting
This may sound like I’m contradicting the above statement, but bear with me.
Starting up your own blog is a necessity, but if that’s all you’re writing, you’re limiting yourself.
If the only place you’re getting bylines is on your own site, you’re relying on people finding your site in order to get a feel for your writing.
While this is the best place for them to do that, it also means that the time you have in between writing your blog posts has to go to promoting your own site. If your own website is the only place you showcase your writing, it’s up to you to get people’s eyes on your posts. Which is difficult and exhausting to keep up.
The beauty of guest blogging is that you’re writing to an already established audience. Even if you already have an audience, this is a new one. You’re reaching an untold amount of people through your blog post, many of whom have never been on your site.
According to Mike the Search Engine Guru, via Jeff Goins, “when it comes to SEO, guest posting on other sites is five times as valuable as creating new content on your own site. (So long as you get the backlink.)”
If the reader digs your content, there’s a good chance they are going to click on the link in your bio, and voilà — a new visitor to your site.
Guest blogging also helps you adapt your own voice to suit the needs of your clients, and builds credibility.
What’s not to like?
If you’re new to guest blogging, research a few publications you think you could write for, browse through their guidelines and get in touch with the editor, pitching an idea for a post you could contribute.
Blogging Mistake #4: Blogging Inconsistently
If you want to build and keep a captive audience, you need to give them new stuff regularly in order to keep them coming back.
This doesn’t mean you need to be churning stuff out every day. Once a week or even once a fortnight is great, provided it is CONSISTENT.
If your audience knows that roughly every two weeks they’ll be receiving an email about a new post, they’re more likely to keep an eye out for it. If you’re blogging five times the first week, not at all the next week, and twice the following week, people aren’t going to know what to expect, which leads to losing interest, and boredom is the death of the tentative relationship between you and your readers.
The tricky bit is balancing your blog writing with your guest post writing. It’s easy to get caught up in one and neglect the other.
If you’re struggling to find a balance, try writing up a schedule. Allocate time to focus on guest posts, and time to dedicate to your own blog.
Stick to it! You’ll soon start to fall into the habit of balancing the two more naturally.
Blogging Mistake #5: Not Blogging Within Your Niche
It sounds fantastic to go out and blog away about anything and everything (especially if you’re getting paid for it).
In reality, this can cause some problems.
As a writer, the best way to get business is to focus on a small circle of topics, learn as much as you can about them, write super content on said topics, and build up a reputation.
Clients want to know that you’re an expert in whatever niche you’re writing in.
A website about photography is far more likely to hire a writer who has had six articles published on reputable photography sites than they are to hire a writer with 26 articles published on 20 different type of sites.
Of course, that’s not to say you need to pick one topic and never deviate from it.
Pick a few solid niches and focus your efforts there. As hard as it may be, avoid dipping your toes into others niches.
Give it a little while, and focus on building up your expertise in your chosen niches.
You can thank me later.
Blogging Mistake #6: Sounding Like A Robot
Being human in your writing is important. People don’t listen to robots. You don’t want to be a robot.
Personality is key.
Of course, if you’re blogging about a topic that is more on the serious side, don’t feel like you absolutely need to spice it up with a dash of humor.
But, people like reading stuff that feels like a conversation over a beer. Too many big words, monotonous sentences or jargon, and before you know it they’ll be neglecting your blog for a YouTube video of cats doing ballet.
Write as you speak, don’t hold back, be sincere. Bring YOU into your writing, and readers will respond, human to human.
Blogging doesn’t have to feel like a chore. Blogging mistakes don’t have to bring you down.
When done correctly, running your own blog can give you a huge boost in your writing career, grow your audience and establish you very nicely as an expert in your niche.